This is the second part of a seven part series on photographing your child’s first year. This series is meant to be a guideline and give you suggestions. Keep your child’s safety a top priority throughout any photo session.
A lot of what I mentioned in the first part of this series (Newborn) will apply every month of the first year, and beyond. Knowing your camera, understanding the lighting situation, and being familiar with any mobile apps you might use will always come in handy.
Side note: Most of the images in the middle-ish-month posts will be of my son, since I usually don’t shoot client’s children other than during bigger time periods (newborn, six, and twelve months).
Once your little baby guy or gal reaches the two month mark, you’ll find them sleeping a bit better and hopefully finding a rhythm to their day. They’ll be eating more, very awake and interested in the world, sleeping for longer stretches, and maybe even working into a napping schedule.
On top of all that good news… they are starting to really show their personality. Your little one may smile at you, laugh at your silly shenanigans and start to wonder what is going on around them. This is the perfect time to start to capture those moments you’ll cherish and love to talk about for years to come.
Capture their super-sized personality.
Make time not only to capture the day-to-day happenings with your little one, but to really capture their personality. Set aside time to work with them to get them to do all the little things you love to oooo and ahhhh over with your friends and family.
This might mean you take out a favorite toy or make a favorite sound to get the reaction you desire. Depending on the season you could incorporate more props that they might toss around or cuddle with.
For example, my son was such a giggly little guy all the time, so I couldn’t help but capture his giggle squiggle moments, because he was always on the move.
Instead of the bed, try the floor.
At 2-3 months, your little one will be quite a bit more active than they were at the newborn stage. They might be wiggling or rolling over. They’ll probably be flailing their arms a bit and kicking those legs a lot. To be safe, and allow yourself time to shoot, put them on the floor.
This way you don’t have to worry that they might roll off the bed while you’re hitting the shutter button or adjusting your settings. Babies are so unpredictable! You might think they are safe in the middle of the bed and while you’re looking through the viewfinder off they go…
Also, the great thing about the floor: always a space near a window or door for great natural light if you can’t go outside.
Use lots of pillows and blankets.
At this stage, they won’t be sitting up just yet and they might not even be rolling over. Every baby is different! Make sure to soften the floor where you place them. Put down your pillows and then cover them with a blanket. By making them comfortable, you’re sure to have an easier time convincing them to give you that million dollar smile.
Try different positions.
When your baby is in their first month, it’s not wise unless you’re skilled to really test out too many positions. As they grow though, they are much stronger and will start to show an interest in holding their head up, or rolling on their belly or back. Some babies like to sit up, some absolutely hate it. You’ll know what’ll work best.
Once you setup a space with the pillows behind, below, and around them, cover it with a blanket and snap away at those chubby bellies and sweet grins.
Of course, always be ready to help them back up as they fall over onto the soft landing. If any position frustrates them, stop and do something else. No sense in making baby sad!
Dress them up.
Newborns just want to be cuddled and in a soft place. Two month olds are most likely wearing the cutest outfits you’ll ever see. Anyone who’s given you an outfit would probably love to see it on them, too.
Why not take a few moments and setup your own fashion shoot. Sure, you’re child will probably despise you later in life, but they’ll despise you for so many other things, too, haha.
This one was shot with a mobile camera. Even when they are asleep, their outfits are just darling!
Dress them down.
Newborns are cute all naked, and the cuteness never stops the first year. If your little one is not a fan of clothes, let them do their thing. If you cloth diaper, it looks super sweet on camera. If not, put on a pair of shorts or a diaper cover if you have one.
Monkey is obviously bored by my attempt to make him look like a runner with “running shoe” socks, but he sure loved to be sans clothes as a baby.
Get in the shot.
When I was pregnant, I gained 55lbs! I wasn’t super excited about being in any photos at the time. I’m still working on losing weight almost two years later! Regardless, it’s so important not to forget to include yourself in your monthly images with your little one.
Often times, that first month or two we’re exhausted. We are only snapped when someone else is grabbing a candid that we maybe hope to never see. Don’t forget about you. You did all this work to create a life, share in that moment and bring out their best side.
Whether or not these are images you share publicly, ask someone to help you capture a few special moments. You won’t regret having them, but you might miss them if you don’t.
Now’s the time where you can start taking baby guy or gal out to public places as per doctors orders. Prior, as a newbie, they are usually home more often than not. This is the perfect month to start experimenting with outdoor images in places that you love. If it’s warm enough out, of course!
Go somewhere special to you and your family. Go to the beach if that’s what you love. Go to a park where you first met your husband and capture the changes in your life. Photograph each other and teach your partner how to use the camera a bit more as you’ve learned.
The change of scenery is not only good for your soul, it’ll provide you with a few images that are outside the norm from the previous months and inspire you!
I hope this series is giving you a few great ideas to get started with your precious bundle. It’s an exhilarating time, as well as exhausting, but so worth all of the time, effort, energy, and love. Making sure not to forget to capture these moments is super important, as the time passes so quickly!
If you have any questions, send them my way kate[at]katenesi.com!
Photographing Your Child’s First Year Series:
Part I: Newborn to First Month
Part II: 2-3 Months
Part III: 4-5 Months
Part IV: 6-7 Months
Part V: 8-9 Months
Part VI: 10-11 Months
Part VII: 12 Months + Cake Smash